Social Conditions and the Climate of Opinion

  • D. E. Butler
  • Anthony King


A chronicle of British history between 1959 and 1964 which confined itself to the world of politics would not only fail to take account of the diverse factors that influence men’s votes. It would also neglect the profound sea-change in articulate opinion which occurred during these years. The mood of buoyant self-satisfaction which had characterised Britain during the fifties suddenly, it seemed, gave way to a mood of self-doubt and angry introspection. John Osborne’s had been a lonely voice in the fifties:

‘Don’t clap too hard, we’re all in a very old building. Yes, very old. Old. What about that? (Pointing to Britannia.) What about her, eh — Madam with the helmet on? I reckon she’s sagging a bit, if you ask me.’


Trade Union European Economic Community Retail Prex Class Struggle Nuclear Disarmament 
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    See Christopher Driver, The Disarmers, a Study in Protest, Hodder and Stoughton, 1964.Google Scholar
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    For a discussion of this point, see Geoffrey Moorhouse, The Other England, Penguin, 1964, Chapter 2.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. E. Butler and Anthony King 1965

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. E. Butler
    • 1
  • Anthony King
    • 2
  1. 1.Nuffield CollegeOxfordUK
  2. 2.Magdalen CollegeOxfordUK

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